August 24, 2005

All Kinds of Crazy: Greatest Hits Edition

Pat Robertson's latest public meltdown, suggesting that the legally elected president of Venezuela should be assassinated by the CIA, has made big news and given reporters everywhere a chance to revive their favorite Crazy Pat quotes. From the Independent:

"[Feminism] encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

From the New York Times:

... Mr. Robertson has a history of getting attention for inflammatory remarks. In May, he argued that the threat to the United States from activist judges was "probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings." In 2003, Mr. Robertson said "maybe we need a very small nuke thrown" at State Department headquarters "to shake things up."

In 1998, he warned that hurricanes and other natural disasters would sweep down on Orlando, Fla., because homosexuals were flocking to Disney World there on special "gay days." And he has often denounced the United Nations as a first step toward a dangerous "one world government."

USA Today:

June 2003: "The Supreme Court is bringing upon this nation the wrath of God" by ruling in favor of abortion rights and gay rights. Robertson asks his supporters to pray for "our Lord to change the court."

USA Today did mention Robertson's all-time greatest hit, his participation in a conversation with Jerry Falwell right after 9-11, but it needs to be quoted in its full glory to really appreciate the insanity. These comments were so off-the-charts crazy that I can't for the life of me figure out why they aren't trotted out every time either of these two men make a public appearance. Robertson's remarks in bold below:

... Robertson began his remarks with an error-ridden description of American society that argued that church-state separationists, in conjunction with the federal judiciary system, have angered God, who in turn, neglected to protect us on Sept. 11.

"We have a court that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye and said we're going to legislate you out of the schools," Robertson said. "We're going to take your commandments from off the courthouse steps in various states. We're not going to let little children read the commandments of God. We're not going to let the Bible be read, no prayer in our schools. We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. And, then we say, 'Why does this happen?' Well, why it's happening is that God Almighty is lifting his protection from us."

A few minutes later, Robertson brought Falwell on, via satellite from Lynchburg, and Falwell followed with a series of harsh remarks of his own.

"What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if in fact, if in fact, God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," Falwell said.

Robertson agreed, saying, "Jerry, that's my feeling."

Though these words alone would have likely stirred controversy, Falwell then began identifying specific American groups and minorities whom he personally wanted to assign blame for the worst terrorist strike in U.S. history.

"The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this," Falwell said. "And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the Pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America."

Falwell concluded, "I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

Responded Robertson, "Well, I totally concur. And the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system." ...

Robertson completely agreed at the time, and for all we know still does, that the judicial system and various groups of private citizens who believe in a secular state (of exactly the sort bin Laden despises) caused the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and thought that the country deserved even worse.

Of course, Robertson and his buddy Falwell aren't alone in being so full-goose bozo that they talk about murdering people they don't like in public. Media Matters reminds us of a couple other examples of murder-minded conservatives, who in case you were wondering have never been condemned by their fellows in any way for suggesting any of this. Robertson is only getting tepidly denounced because International Incidents involving major oil suppliers are bad for business. Or what about these crazy quotes:

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus"living fossils"so we will never forget what these people stood for." - Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him." - Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah), talking about President Clinton, as reported by journalist Steve Miner of KSUB radio who overheard his conversation, 11-01-98

"We're going to keep building the party until we're hunting Democrats with dogs." - Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), Mother Jones, 08-95

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to The New York Times building." - Ann Coulter, The New York Observer, 08-26-02

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors." - Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

Then there was Rep. Tom DeLay's threat to the judges involved in the Schiavo case, which intemperate remark was made shortly after one judge was shot in the courtroom and the spouse and mother of another judge were killed in her home in separate incidents. Sen. John Cornyn one-upped DeLay by suggesting that there was a connection between anger over judicial activism and violence against judges.

In fact, it could be argued that these incidents pale in comparison to Rich Lowry and Fred Ikle suggesting that it might be reasonable under some circumstances to respond to terrorism by nuking Mecca and Medina, lightheartedly, if you will, on the pages of publications respected by the right.

And the crazy just keeps on coming, but it's the Left that's 'extreme.' If we lived in a sensible world, people who say things like this would be recuperating from what ails them in padded rooms, but instead, they're free to roam about making policy and setting the course of our political dialogue.

Posted by natasha at August 24, 2005 01:50 AM | International | Technorati links |

Tolerating such a Christian fatwa, the US government proves not to be any better then Iranian government tolerating the Islamistic fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

Posted by: Marcel from Germany at August 24, 2005 03:04 AM

More on Robertson: here.

Posted by: dearkitty at August 24, 2005 03:25 AM